Saturday 15 January 2011

The Marina: then & now

As completed in 1977 the Marina, providing 127 acres of sheltered water, could accomodate 1500 boats at moorings, some tidal, some in the locked inner harbour seen here in 1980. The first building to be finished  was the multi-story car park (not in shot). Surely a harbinger of what was to come.

In 1979 the Marina Company went into receivership and the Marina was bought by Brent Walker, who brought in ASDA,  with the result seen above. This kicked off a surge of building which produced, beyond ASDA, Village Square and blocks and blocks of apartment buildings. One wonders if Henry Cohen had this amount of development in mind in his original concept. Even more development is proposed, on the ASDA car park, and to the south of the multi-storey car-park. Thankfully perhaps, this seems to be on hold, either due to failing the planning process, or the current economic climate. Some parts of the Marina are now quite attractive but many improvements are possible. It is a pity these always have to be linked with more housing in an already crowded and unique area.

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